With the alteration of circumstances, the narrator's tone also has turned from its previous lightness to a melancholic mood. Although we knew before that the farm was too high up to grow coffee, the issue is now taken seriously as we understand had detrimental this flaw is. The careful tone of understatement and storytelling has disappeared. The story now moves chronologically. It contains all the prosaic details that had been previously left out—accounts of debt and particulars of troubles. The narrator no longer just tells stories, lightly recounting tales of her African life. She has turned into a subject as well, as she describes one of the most painful periods of her life.
The narrator's response to Chief Kinanjui's dying request demonstrates both how she and the narrative have changed. Previously, she was an ornery independent woman who cared little about what the world thought of her. Now she feels weary and unable to stand up against pressures around her. While the narrator previously has been coy about her feelings, here she explains them in explicit detail. Her internal landscape has opened to the reader. Her character appears with a depth that has rarely been seen so far.
The narrator's crushed emotions also become evident with her account of Denys's death, however this is not because she directly confesses her feelings. The chapter "The Grave in the Hills" is told expertly, as a self-contained unit with its own introduction, climax, and fall. In its initial section, the idea that Denys and the narrator shall separate becomes evident as they discuss her departure. This discussion foreshadows Denys's death and reveals how difficult she shall find it to not just leave Africa, but to leave him as well. His death also is foreshadowed as the narrator describes the details of his flight in detail. Several people avoided flying with him because "destiny" was handing out his head. At one point, he had to get his propeller fixed, but then he went on. When Denys does not appear for lunch, even the reader presumes that he is dead, because of the foreshadowing. The concealment of this information from the narrator heightens the chapter's narrative tension. As she travels through Nairobi, everyone, including the reader, knows what has happened. After a long luncheon with her friend, the news is finally delivered. The technique of delaying this terrible news helps to magnify its tragic emotion.
Although the narrator does not ever say how sad she is that Denys has died, her emotion is obvious through her actions. When his native safari guides appear at the house, they all sit silently together mourning Denys's loss. The narrator frequently goes to his grave to be with him. The narrator appears to be at her lowest point, following Denys's death. Dinesen's careful description of the rain during the burial and the mourners bowing at the gravesite, make her sadness obvious even if it is not directly stated in the text.
Still Dinesen is a storyteller and even her account of Denys's grave hold some symbolic purposes. We shall never know whether or not lions came to sit on it, but their doing so fits neatly with the themes that Dinesen has already explored. The lion served as the sign of erotic love between Denys and the narrator. Furthermore, the lion symbolically represents the most aristocratic of the African animals: the jungle's king and the most powerful of beasts. As Denys too represented the most aristocratic of the human species for the narrator, the fact that lions should come to settle with him is entirely fitting.